Perfumes are made up of different layers of scents, known as “notes.” These notes are divided into three categories. The top notes (or head notes) are the initial smell that you get when you apply the fragrance. The top notes give you a first impression of your fragrance and leave you with the middle notes as they fade. Middle notes (or heart notes) linger a bit longer than the head notes, and lead you gently to the base notes (which are the body of the fragrance). The base notes are usually a heavier, deeper fragrance. Cinnamon is a very powerful fragrance, and it will likely be your base note.
Perfumes are generally a combination of scented or essential oils, a solvent oil and perfumer’s alcohol. If you want to create a cinnamon perfume, then you will want to choose head and heart notes that marry well with your chosen cinnamon scent. Scented oils that will work well with your cinnamon will be exotics, such as orange, ginger, sandalwood and vanilla. Do not be afraid to ask shops if you can smell essential oils before you decide on them. Keep your preferred cinnamon-scented oil with you as you are sampling scents so that you can tell if it is a good fit for your cinnamon scent.
Using a blue or amber glass container (these extend the life of fragrance oils), add 1/4 ounce of your solvent (such as jojoba oil, sweet almond, or mineral oil). Add 3 drops of your top note and 4 drops of both your heart note and your cinnamon-scented oil. Cap the bottle and agitate it (swishing, not shaking). Put the bottle somewhere dark and allow to develop overnight, then open and check to see if the scent is acceptable. If you need to adjust your scent, add an appropriate amount of the scented oil and allow to develop again. Remember to journal the formula you use so that you can create it again.
When you are pleased with your scent, add 1.5 ounces of alcohol. Swish your bottle until well mixed, and place back in your dark place. Agitate it every 12 hours or so for the next two days. Pour some of your perfume off into a small diffusing bottle, a decorative vanity bottle, or apply directly from your mixing bottle. The longer you allow the fragrance to develop, the more full-bodied your homemade cinnamon perfume will be.
Many home perfume makers will use vodka with as high an alcohol volume as they can find for the final mix. This does an alright job, but for professional results you will want to use perfumer alcohol. Depending on the source, perfumer alcohol has about a 95% alcohol content. Some come with a mild fragrance in it, but normally you order it with no fragrance for greater flexibility. Though it has a reputation for being difficult to find and expensive, it is no more expensive than a resonably priced vodka. Many perfume making suppliers sell perfume alcohol online.
Cinnamon scented oil should be used instead of cinnamon essential oil. Cinnamon oil is powerful stuff and can cause severe irritations and contact dermatitis. Cinnamon oil will cause damage to furniture finishes, so you can only imagine what it can do to your skin and clothing. When you select your cinnamon fragrance oil, make sure that it does not contain real cinnamon for safety’s sake.
References and ResourcesSource for perfume alcohol and other supplies.
Supplies for homemade toiletries, including perfumer's alcohol.